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Ola plans to launch e-rickshaws across India


Home-grown cab hailing major Ola is reportedly setting up a team to design Ola electric auto fleet (e-rickshaws) across the country. The Bengaluru-based firm has roped in Chinam Netaji Patro, who was formerly at the research and development (R&D) of electrical and electronics at Bajaj Auto. Netaji joined Ola last month as its senior director for electric vehicles, including cars and auto-rickshaws.

Ola who is successfully leading the cab market has been already working on electric vehicles and with the re-entry of Uber (Uber AUTO) in three-wheeler segment in the country, the competition is growing day by day. Interestingly, the government of Karnataka, through its transport department is also gearing up to launch its own electric autos in Bengaluru city.

The auto-rickshaws space is largely dominated by Bajaj Auto and TVS in the commuter segment. Other major players like While Mahindra and Piaggio build three-wheelers but only limited to goods carrying facility. The firm is also looking at partnership to make its foray into e-rickshaw a possibility, reports Business Standard.

This could be a big gain for the SoftBank-backed company, where no major cab company is looking into electric three-wheeler space. Now it is eyeing to replicate nationally the success of its auto-rickshaw offering in Chennai and Bengaluru.

Ola, who has taken the initiative to bring electric vehicles by a cab aggregator, launched nation’s first electric vehicle charging station at a petrol pump in Nagpur in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

In November, last year, Tata Motors was planning to introduce Nano Electric cars in Delhi in collaboration with Ola Cabs. As per the plan, Ola will deploy 400 Tata Nano Electric cabs in the initial stages.

In an earlier interview, Bhavish Aggarwal CEO of Ola told that along the lines of Mahindra and Tata, Ola is focusing on building an e-vehicle fleet and more investment is foreseen.
Meanwhile, Masayoshi Son, the owner of Ola’s largest investor SoftBank, has already hinted to bring one million EVs to Indian roads.

In compliance with the government’s ambitious plan to convert the entire vehicle fleet in the country to electric by 2030, Ola’s arch-rival Uber had also tied up with Mahindra and Mahindra to introduce electric vehicles on its platform in India.

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